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I want your really honest opinions. I have been flamed to bits and pieces for "totally butchering a masterpiece", "showing us that bad singing ruins good music" et cetera in about 25 comments scattered across several community sites. Now, I have responded diplomatically with "everyone likes different things. This is my interpretation and I skipped technical singing in favor of just singing with the emotions the song gave me". I've got two positive comments on it. One was from the girl I recorded it for. The other one was from another girl who had the hots for me.

Why I ask you guys is because, am I really the definition of the Dunning-Kruger-effect or is the rest of the world wrong? I've found that usually, when the rest of the world is in agreement, that kinda says something...

Here's the original;

Here's my version;


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Thanks :D This is pretty much the only time I've used grit (like.. fragility) when singing. But that's what I felt because of how hopeless the situation with the girl was :(

I edited it with another video with the same song.

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Snejk, It is not you. It is the rest of the world. :D

Here is the problem. People who know and like the song are the ones who are listening to it. They expect it to sound like the original. We are artists. We expect the song to convey our emotions and intent the way we hear it.

I do not know the song. I listened to both. I like yours better. There is more SOUL in yours. More emotion.

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Hi man... I will begin saying that I find the accoustic version you sent (of the dude singing) really awful. Is that the best reference you have for it?

Your version is better technically, you sing in pitch which is something the original lacks. But you are changing the mood of the song all the way. I dont blame you, but well, if you change it, people that are fans of the band will be disappointed.

There is a problem in here of language. If you listen to what the dude is doing on the link you sent, he is pitchy, speaking, repetitive, etc... But people like it. So you have to find out why people do so and focus on that. The singing is poor, and the interpretation is pretty much on the same dynamic level from start to finish. So it must be melody and rhythim.

If you really want to deliver the song in a way that fans of it will like, start by listenning to it a lot, but really a lot more. Then when you go to sing it, simplify, rice and beans from beginning to the end. Speak it more instead of using tons of resonance, keep on that mezzo-forte intensity all the way. Define the vowels more, specially on the "ah ah ah" chorus...

Do so to get the mood, and then, without doing major alterations on the melody, you do a bit more of your deal adding more dynamics, but keeping around the mezzo forte always, specially the first phrase should be open and loud. If you want to sing some high stuff, be very careful to choose where, and use just a tinny small piece of it, really just a detail. Runs and octave jumps will all feel out of place to the ears of a person that likes that original.

And to put things in perspective, my wife words when she heard the versions you sent: "But its no wonder people did not like it, this song is boring as hell, tell him to sing something else.". So before going through all this, ask yourself if its worth it :P. It can be a somewhat useful study it if you plan singing more of this kind of material and getting the same feel, but is that the case? If not, and the target audience liked it, Id call it a job done and move on.

Hope it helps. (and please I am not endorsing whatever non-sense people gave you somewhere else, "bad singing ruins a great song" is a very stupid thing to comment and seems to be the kind of thing someone would say to try to "protect" their idols...)

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Thanks for the input Felipe, it makes perfect sense.

Yes, that version was the one that people were refering to, not the live one.

Thing is, when I record I can't sing the same thing twice because it bores the crap out of me and ruins music for me.. Improvising while recording, just acting on the spur of the moment is what is important to me. It's what conveys my emotions into the music... The falsetto part for example.. I had a feeling I needed something to follow the "I will never see her again" but I didn't know what and then the falsetto-thing spontaneously blurted out of my mouth and I kept it as it were, no re-takes (it's the simplest of chord structures so improvising is easy)...

But that is music for me. If there are two verses and the melody is the same for both.. I get thoroughly bored...

I can only explain it like this; emotions are not as simple as love, heartbreak, happiness etc. When I think of something I have a hundred of feelings running through me simultaenously which all would fall under, say "sunshine". The only thing that really conveys emotions for me is melody. Whatever I do in life, wherever I may be, there are hundred of melodies inside me and sometimes I am lucky to grab one and it contains the hundreds of feelings that people place under one wordt. That's why I very seldom have a pre-written melody when recording, I prefer making them up as I go...

Melody conveys such a vast emotional response in me that not even the most profficient wordsmith could match in less than a novel.

Music to me is melody. Melody is my heart, soul and reason for being here.

But of course, this is a learning process for me, and will continue to be a learning process throughout my entire life. I agree that it doesn't sound "connected" throughout, but that keeps me wanting to find the right melodies within me even more...


For example; this one I improvised entirely (not a cover) while recording, which is very notable on the silly lyrics... I just sang words that came to me and tried to make some sort of context out of it. I did one re-take of the whistling part because the first one was too pitchy and a second take for the shitty harmonies in the second verse.

Improvising melodies is the truest and purest form of music for me.


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snejk as an example:

The skill of the old man is out of this world. And I think its a great performance. But you understand that the language on the version from The Who is totally different? And that quite possibily fans of The Who would not enjoy it?

Arguing what Bruce should do or not would be foolish and he has an audience that expects his thing to come forward. He changed the song, changed the language.

I am a big fan of both. And Bruce to me is one, if not the best singer alive, I still think that the feel of the original song is best and I like it better.

Its all a matter of context and goal. But there is also the value of your study as a musician, if you manage to capture the feel, you grow in that aspect, and your skill to express will grow too. The question is, do YOU want that kind of expression for you? If not I dont think its worth worrying too much, you dont need to be a specialist on all styles that exist on this planet.

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That is some great insight Felipe and I think I get what you're aiming.

I started growing as a singer the moment I stopped imitating other singers and about two months ago I could actually look at myself and confidently admit to myself that I actually have some sort of talent - something that I would laugh at when people told me.

For me, I want to go my own way and evolve based solely on what my intuition dictates. BUT, I am not really there yet, where I can disregard people's criticism entirely. I still question myself at times "maybe I just overestimate myself and should have a reality check"...

But when I get goosebumps from listening to my own songs... I try to let that override my need for external validation.

I don't want one voice. I want a hundred voices because I know I can't confine my emotions to "one voice". Maybe that will be detrimental to success and feel dissociated.. Maybe it will not, I don't know, but I do know that if I smile when I listen to my own singing, I am on the right track :3

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That is the same thing I wrote Snejk. The fans of the original song will not like your interpretation. Your fans will like most of the songs that you do and will appreciate your talent. Even Johnny Cash was being compared to Nine Inch Nails because of covering their song Hurt. Nine Inch Nail Fans Hated Johnnys' version. Johnnys' fans loved it.

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Haha MDEW, funny you should mention that... That was the first song I learned on the guitar, and the first youtube-video I have of me...

I keep it on the tube simply because when I doubt myself, I look at it and get reminded that I actually have improved (yes, I oftentimes doubt my singing ability and any form of development)

I heard the JC version first and the video brought me to tears (Yeah I'm a sissy like that). I recall Trent Reznor saying something like "It's not my song anymore, it's JC's" or something along those lines...

In this case I surely appreciate one more than the other, but I could never deny TR's musicianship...

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That's a really good version of "Hurt." And yes, Trent, in an interview, acknowledged that more of the world knows the JC version and identifies it with him, though Trent collects the royalties.

I also think, between the two versions is a difference in sub-text. For Trent, "I will make you hurt" is a threat. For Johnny, it is a regret. It is the latter that rang so true for me. For I have sinned many a time and against those closest to me.

As for others's comments about how you ruined a song because you did NOT sing it like the original singer or sound like him, I have some experience with that. Welcome to the club.

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Ah so Trent was not as humble as I had hoped :(

Thing is, to be honest (I really do not like this arrogant side of me), I think I -sing- the song (the original post one that is, not 'hurt'). I sing it with emotion, because, well.. I hated the song from the moment I heard the 'singer' first note.. BUT, the girl who showed it to me did so because it described our relationship... Shortly after she was put "behind bars" and I had no contact with her for many months. With an IQ of 158 and a total sense of estrangement from everyone due their cognitive simplicity... I immediately took notice of her not being 'mentally ill', but just so extremely intellectual that she couldn't handle the banality of the people around her. I was the first person she ever felt equal to but due to our age difference she had to suffer.

So I heard the song a year later and my heart exploded basically and I just teared up.. So I went home and made up a simple piano arrangement and did my own version while the feelings were so extremely tangible and present...

I think that the original has no emotional breadth or depth whatsoever due to the singers lack of any form of dynamics, pitch, rhythm or diversity in how to express phrases that are so extremely different in weight, but bound by the overall theme...

That's why I did the falsetto thingies and made my own melodies because that was the feeling I got out between tearing up like a sissy.

Yes, I'm that conceited...

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Well, Pat, you already know I like your voice and your style. And you could collect a whole list of people, certainly anyone here with a modicum of brain function, to agree that your arrangement and performance is great, possibly or probably better than the original.

Because listening is mental. Welcome to my world, where doing something as good or better than the original can still get you shredded because people have a psychological need for whatever response they have. It has nothing to do with logic, everything to to do with their own self-centeredness.

Again, welcome to my world. Which is not to say that I have not shared some dogs. I have. Times I got ripped, fairly. Other times, I could only wonder at the mental states of others while spinning in my own.


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